By Jim den Hollander
Team Wisconsin 18U returned to New Hope, MN for its second weekend of Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League play and found more success this time around.
After opening league play with two losses and a tie the previous weekend, TW hit the win column with a 4-3 win against SIT Mutual Funds in its first of two games Sunday, then took a step forward against Kowalski’s later the same day battling to a 2-2 draw against the same team it fell 7-6 against the previous weekend.
Wrapping up the weekend, Team Wisconsin downed Twin Cities Orthopedics 5-2, again a step forward from a 4-4 tie the previous weekend.
Team Wisconsin 4 SIT Mutual Funds 3
Down 2-0 after a period, TW responded with four unanswered middle period goals, then limited its opponent to one in the third, scored just 74 seconds from the final buzzer.
Dayne Deanovich (Junior – St. Mary’s Springs Ledgers) and Josh Austin (Senior – St. Mary’s Springs Ledgers) scored two each to place the Team Wisconsin attack.
Team Wisconsin 2 Kowalski’s 2
The second game of the day saw TW grab control early with a pair of unanswered first period goals, but Kowalskis struck back for one in the second and tied the game 6:50 into the final frame.
Deanovich fired his third of the day to open the scoring and the other came from Luke Lindsay (Senior – Eau Claire Memorial)
Team Wisconsin 5 Twin Cities Orthopedics 2
The offense started slowly in this one, team playing through a scoreless first period and both teams firing one in the middle period.
TW fired a pair in the first 12 minutes of the third to grab control but didn’t have the result assured until adding two more in the game’s final minute.
Kade Smigaj (Junior – SPASH Panthers); Hunter Bill (Junior – Notre Dame Academy Tritons); JJ Wiebusch (Senior – Edgewood Crusaders); Cody Menzel (Senior – Edgewood Crusaders) and Callan Budinger (Senior – Notre Dame Academy Tritons) scored the goals for Team Wisconsin.
Erik Peterson, a Sauk Prairie Eagles senior, didn’t hit the score sheet, but was nonetheless a contributor for Team Wisconsin.
With the weekend results, Team Wisconsin sits at 2-2-2 and fifth in the 10-team league standings.
Team Wisconsin will get a chance to play with home state advantage this weekend with four games at Chippewa Falls Ice Arena, but the opposition will be tough, beginning with a pair against MAP South Hockey, the current league leaders with a record of 5-1-1.
Wrapping up a busy weekend will be Saturday evening/Sunday morning contests against Shattuck St. Mary’s who enter the weekend with a 2-1 league record.